Dandelions & similar

Asked August 13, 2018, 2:33 PM EDT

We don't use any chemicals on our yard or garden & the dandelions are thriving, even though we don't water during hotter months to conserve water. Can you recommend products that are safe for pets & kids & won't pollute to control dandelions and the taller fake dandelion type weeds? I know that improving our lawn would help choke them out, but that isn't an option right now. Thank you!

Washington County Oregon

1 Response

The Oregon Extension Service has two publications that can help get your lawn into shape. The primary lesson of all is that a healthy, well-cared for lawn is the best defense against weed invasion.

Practical Lawn Care for Western Oregon (EC 1521)

Fertilizing Lawns (EC 1278)

You can control dandelions and other weeds by
1. not letting them go to seed.
2. mowing your lawn at a setting of 2.5-3 inches to shade out existing seeds.
3. using a pre-emergence weed killer to stop seeds sprouting.
4. digging out existing dandelions or destroying their tops
5. using a broadleaf weed killer designed to kill dandelions

If you have just a few dandelions a good option is to hand pull them making sure you get the majority of the root, otherwise the plant will be back next season. They are easier to pull after watering or rain shower and it’s helpful to push a pointed trowel or dandelion digger down next to the root and gently wiggle it out.